In the past, I’ve occasionally been hard on John Robb’s theories. I’ve made fair criticisms. Robb has previously focused on very angry men, superempowered individuals who would lash out in acts of violence. Of course, such actors can only create random violence, and so their effects will be drowned out in the noise. Robb also focused on terrorist groups attacking the economies of their enemies, but terrorist organizations are much smaller than states, and by trying to take down the economies of their enemies they often are attacking their enemy at the strongest point. Very foolish.
However, John Robb is exactly right on how seam states like Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova can defend themselves against Russia. Russia is a Gap state with a brittle, fragile economy. Indeed, “Russia” is almost just another name for “Gazprom and her mecenaries.” Attacking the mercenaries attacks Russia will she is strong. Attacking Gazprom attacks Russia will she is weak:
Global Guerrillas – HALTING RUSSIAN ENCROACHMENT
Beneficially for these countries, the costs of maintaining a defensive posture that relies on systems disruption is nearly zero. There is no need to maintain a “toy army” or any defensive systems at all. In fact, it’s likely preferable not to put up any fight at all during a Russian incursion to minimize damage/casualties. What is needed are small teams (given how may in these countries already speak Russian and can pass for Russian) that can disrupt pipelines, powerlines, etc., which are very inexpensive to maintain (another option is to purchase guest workers/criminals to do the job). Further, some of these countries have a well developed software industry and can generate cyberattacks on Russian corporate targets. Even better, these countries can invite anyone in the world offended by the Russian action, through sites that provide target lists/exploits and offensive software, to join in the attacks (bounties/rewards could be offered for exceptional attacks). In many cases, the returns on investment (ROIs) for these disruptions can top one million $ to one $.
Every country that borders Russia or has friends that do should be studying how they can attack Russia’s hydrocarbon infrastructure. The simpe stupidity of Russia’s invasion of Georgia has already taken 40% off the Russian stock market. Imagine how much more painful that war could have been if Georgian special forces went Robbian, and began attacking Gazprom’s oil infrastructure across Russia.